Creation of Omnibus Home Health Care was “a God thing”

Published 12:36 am Sunday, May 29, 2022

NEDERLAND — For Kristi DuBois, the purchase of Omnibus Home Health Care was a God thing.

Business partner and CFO Mitchell Vicknair was working to become a deacon in his church and looking to do some sort of ministry outreach, she said. The plan was for them to purchase Omnibus, and while doing an assessment on patients, ask their religious preference. From there, they were going to compile a list of people willing to go out and pray with the patients.

Then COVID hit and the plan changed.

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“It’s taken a different route than we expected,” DuBois said. “We’ve still been able to reach people through this. We’ve been able to really touch a lot of people in different ways than we planned. It wasn’t our plan. It was God’s plan.”

Omnibus Home Health Care offers a number of services such as skilled nursing, home health aides, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, IV transfusions, medication set-up, health education, wound care and social services.

“Omnibus means care for all,” Vicknair said. “We care for the whole person, and with that is the family, too. You’re not just taking care of the patient. And when you’re in their home, they’re allowing you in their home, for one, and you have a ton of opportunity to help people all around.”

Omnibus has 25 employees between nurses and staff and approximately 150 patients. Team members work with many different physicians and try to get patients as independent as possible.

“Our goal is to get them back to where they were or better,” Vicknair said.

Omnibus Home Health Officer Manager Shari Grones, left, takes the blood pressure of Jerri Shute. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Establishing a rapport with the patient is critical to the care given. The nurse sees the patient and learns their particular needs. 

There is a knowledge deficit with some individuals who pay have diabetes or high blood pressure and find it hard to follow a diet, but having home health care at their home every week reiterates what they need to be doing, Vicknair said.

Omnibus started in Port Arthur and moved to the current location at 1455 S. U.S. 69 in Nederland behind The Schooner Restaurant in September 2020.

Since then there’s been COVID, the TPC explosion, flooding with Imelda and more, which kept them from getting to their patients.

“I’m so proud of my nurses. They got in contact with every single person so at least we knew where they were and what their plan was,” Vicknair said. “We try to help them before those things happened. Luckily, we have emergency plans in place and we can contact someone and make sure they’re safe.”

Omnibus Home Health is located at 1455 S. U.S. 69, Nederland, behind The Schooner Restaurant. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Omnibus works to take the extra step by identifying the needs of the patients. For example they may need groceries, so Omnibus will lead them in the right direction.

Jennifer Sterling, director of nursing, is another part of the team. Her job duties include overseeing the nurses, making sure they are coordinating with the physicians, keeping up to date on education and any updates that come from the Centers for Disease Control.

There are virtual conference meetings to go over patients’ cases two weeks prior to their needing recertification.

And there’s the human touch.

Some patients may not see another person all week except for their nurse, and the nurse must find out what that person needs.

“Sometimes they need a friend. Sometimes they need to cry on your shoulder and sometimes they need to be told ‘hey you’ve got to quit eating all that salt,’” Sterling said.

The home health care also keeps up with a patient’s medications. Sterling said you may have a patient who had medications from a primary care physician but went to an urgent care and was prescribed medications there, then visited their sister and saw her doctor and received more medications that their primary care physician doesn’t know about.

Omnibus Home Health accepts all insurance and has a person on call 24/7.

The office can be reached at 409-724-7000.